Thursday, March 12, 2015

Just a Few Thoughts

It looks like we might be on business stuff for a bit. And there will be some teaching stuff, too.
The blog is my place for thinking out loud. That was easier when it was the anonymous meanderings of  some random jail guard poking at internal stuff. The biggest mystery and challenge in my life right now is the business end. I want to get good at it because I hate being bad at anything. And I must do it without compromising my principles. So far, no problem.

This will be kind of random. I may not publish it (I already have several posts written that I'll never publish-- some too dark, some too personal). I may take each paragraph and expand it into a post. I don't know yet.

Thought One:
In this discussion, there is a cross-over to another project I'm working on. We have all been systematically lied to. There is a belief that is so common it is considered axiomatic, but I believe it started as a deliberate lie with a deliberate purpose:
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."-- Lord Acton (titled, landed, seat in parliament...)
What better way to keep good people powerless than to tell them they will become bad people if they gain power? And it has the effect of a self-fulfilling prophecy because once the edict is taken to heart, only people who are already bad seek power. So we see corrupt people in positions of power and assume that the power made them that way.
It's a lie. A systematic lie woven into the fabric of society for the express purpose of keeping good people from ever being strong enough to challenge those in power. If you believe this (and I did for years, an assumption so deep I never even considered challenging it) you have been brainwashed. And the brainwashing has made you a servant to your enemy.

Thought Two:
This is coming up in the discussion. Mac made a comment on the last post that earning a living and getting good enough to teach are both full time endeavors, and that made it hard to do both. The math doesn't work for that. You have to make a living anyway, why does a career at the Sheriff's Office not make it just as hard to do both? When we have arguments we can show to be mathematically false, what are we really arguing for? I think we are driven to preserve our own brainwashing.
And, aside-- I do need to make a living, and I really only had two marketable skills when I came back from Iraq. But money is not how I keep score. I started teaching JJ because there was no one nearby who could play the games I wanted to play at the level I wanted to play them. I was creating my own playmates. My current goal: Weak people annoy me. They whine and complain and play bullshit little political games (and the loud blustery ones, whatever they tell themselves, are in the weak camp as well.) If I can't find enough strong people, it's up to me to make them. And that's probably more than you wanted to know about my inner motivations.

Thought Three:
I'm doing everything wrong and it's working.
No advertising. Only social media is FB and that's still a personal page. I don't send out e-mail blasts. For that matter, I just have a few regional e-mail lists and people have to ask to be put on it. I don't list the agencies or special groups I've worked for. For the first three years I charged for a whole weekend what a few others in this field charge per person for a weekend. (Not quite true anymore-- it would be for the cost of about two people.) And there are very few openings left on my schedule this year, and it was almost full before I even opened it...

Thought Four:
That implies there are some universal principles that work, that go deeper than just common business wisdom. Not sure what they are, but I have a pretty good idea what works for me.


Mike said...

"If I can't find enough strong people, it's up to me to make them."

Very good! Keep making them. We need more of them.

Mac said...

Hmm; devil's advocate here. Does one who trumpets how others are weak and brain - washed (I use creamy Dove soap myself - no aftertaste) feel they only see clearly?

Rory said...

Good question, Mac.
The only reliable test of one's clarity is the ability to predict.
But tests aside, we notice the transitions. You see things one way, then hit an insight and nothing looks the same again. But you remember that on the other side of the insight, you thought the same as everyone else.

Unknown said...

Thought one:

I like your blog because you sometimes write down my thoughts with more eloquence than I can muster. But it's also a bit creepy :-)

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

I used to believe that too, until I realized power is like having a gun. Actually, a gun IS a kind power, that's why anti-gun people don't like others having them. You can do with it as you please, it's up to you and your personal decisions what you'll use it for.

And, power does not corrupt, it's the other way around. The corrupt and bad and evil are more attracted to (or, more like love) power than good people, and thus tend to be better at playing the game for power.

That doesn't mean it should be or must be that way.

This should totally be a post in itself, I'd love to read it.

Thought two:

"I started teaching JJ because there was no one nearby who could play the games I wanted to play at the level I wanted to play them. "

Same here, but still working on it. Therefore, yey, VPPG tomorrow, thanks for that great idea too.

Thought Three and Thought Four:

Here in Hungary, we have an old saying: "Good wine needs no name plate." You offer a quality product, and as word-of-mouth spreads, customers will turn up in increasing numbers. In your case, that means you not only have good training and a lot of first-hand experience, but you also have done in-depht analisys and can articulate the matter better than most.

The beauty of the thing is, you can sell all kinds of shit with enough advertising and marketing, but only credible stuff will sell without it. Because serious people, who want quality are willing to look for it. Hence your full schedule.

Speking of schedules, are you coming to Hungary this year or did that fall through?

Unknown said...

Just one more thought:

I learned more about self-defense from your and Marc MacYoung's writings than I ever did in any martial arts class in ~20 years or even from witness protection/SWAT intructors.

The sheer volume and clarity of information, the usefulness of the models and principles are probably a huge factor in your success.

John said...

I'd be interested to see your elaborations on Thought One, whenever you're comfortable sharing them.

Wayne said...

Corruption comes from within, exterior factors just serve as tools for the corruption.

Just my thoughts

Unknown said...

>I'm doing everything wrong and it's working.
When therapists (and since you create change in others you *are* a therapist) investigated why some were successful and others not so much despite all evidence showing that they were doing everything "right" they determined it came down to three factors-Potency, Permisssion & Protection.
They are most simply defined here on p9 & 10-

You offer all three of these in bucketloads as can easily be seen through your presentation in real life and authenticity in your writing which is why you are successful as others do the promotion for you by word of mouth and reputation which is a far more effective form of advertising.

The European Historical Combat Guild said...

“Absolute power does not corrupt absolutely, absolute power attracts the corruptible.”
― Frank Herbert

Things of quality don't need advertising, they speak for themselves and the those that practice/use them speak for them.

Also advertising can attract anyone and everyone, but they come looking for what you have offered them, (right or wrong) and they come with expectations of what you will do for them, right or wrong they can resent you when you don't give, when and how they expect it

Charles James said...

It seems to my unprofessional and inexperience mind that your successes are about you and who you are. You deserve and get respect not only from those who work in the same fields as you but those outside, like myself, who are lucky enough to recognize good people.

You are good people and in my mind that equates to success in whatever you do. When folks realize that a good person is offering something of value they seek them out.

It is a principle of one person telling two others who in turn tell two others and before you know it, there is a whole society oriented group looking to you for what you have to offer.

Simply put, your naturalness, your natural leadership and your unflinching belief in yourself and what you do does more than all the admen in the world could do with promotions and the like.

For that, I say thanks! You and Marc MacYoung and Lawrence A. Kane and many others in your league have done something special and great, you are willing to pass on your knowledge and experiences so we may learn. You are that DI who teaches others how to live, not just survive but to live.

You live on your own terms and that is the aura that folks perceive when they read your stuff and when the meet and train with you.

At least this is how I see it and again, Thanks for putting yourself out there, you are making a difference one person to two persons to several folks at a time, awesome!

I have never met you but I am "aware" of you and what your give and represent and that impresses the shit out of me. I may never meet you but your work is "helpful to me."

Maija said...

Rory -
Can you define 'weak' and 'power' in the way you are using the words here?

The King's Man said...

Never commented here before, so I don't know if my last attempt has entered moderation or just failed, so I'm trying one more time.

Your general point that good men should feel free to pursue prosperity and power is sound, but, ye cats, don't hold Lord Acton up as someone who would've opposed these ideas! Anyone using his "power tends to corrupt" line as a means of keeping people powerless is ignorant at best. Such an application takes it grievously out of context. Acton wasn't interested in keeping people powerless -- the man was a champion for individual liberty! Were he alive today, he'd be on your side.

Fight the mentality that it's somehow immoral to pursue prosperity and power, but for the love of all that's good and decent, don't attack your allies like poor ol' Lord Acton while you're at it!

Okay, I had fun writing that, but seriously, you should recognise that it's people abusing Acton's words that are your opponents, not Acton himself.

The European Historical Combat Guild said...

There are a lot of words, phrases and ideas that are or have been promulgated in to "common knowledge" often these things are done, to promote thing not intended by the originator,
However recognising who the originator is, is important to really understanding the concept and the way it may have mutated. Mutations drive evolution, but some mutations don't allow evolution.

Did Acton intended the saying to be used the way it has been and that Rory suggests? Or is the issue that his word are now "accepted" to mean something which is a misuse of "good" people?

Anonymous said...

I still remember very well when I first read the Medition on violence. What touched me, was not the topic itself – I've already known most of what was written from my own experiences, but skill of the writer.

It was the first time that I was reading a book that described violence in a way that many of us who dealt with it understood intuitively, but never talked about it. Besides, very few are those who have the capacity to put such intriguing topics on the sheets of paper, as masterfully as Rory did.

Most of the comments I've read here failed to see the depthness of the last two posts. You discuss semantics. You are dealing with meanings of the words and phrases in a particular context and how that applies to your understand of the world – your perception based on your experiences and beliefs.

In advertising or political propaganda, this is used to achieve a desired effect on an audience through the use of words to express a dual meanings, and confuse those who are not aware of the context that is hidden in those phrases.

Joseph Campbell made a lifelong study of the stories we tell ourselves, the myths and the stories that have arisen throughout many cultures over generations. If you manage to look beyond words, you will be able to grasp the essence that's been put in those two posts.

What Rory discussed is about an idea so deep, that those of you who have not experienced it for yourself simply can't understand. It's the same as the violence. You need to experience it, before you can really understand it's nature.

Among other things, I'm very well familiar with the topic which was addressed in the last two posts. When people search and seek answers for their questions, I can provide them information they are looking for.

It happens to be that I know about the most relevant blogs, sites, books, etc., to get you answers you (Rory) are seeking for. We live in an era of information. It's about being productive and to get more things done in the shortest time possible. Like understanding violence, human psychology and marketing go hand in hand.

I've been caught in the same ''vicous'' cycle of what you've mentioned in those posts. It took me a very long time before I understood how delusioned I was. Like I hear you about everything you post about violence, I do understand your points you make about business and the importance of being good at it.

Rory, I'm more then willing to provide you all the information you're looking for (from business to marketing). Just let me know you're interested. Then, it's up to you to decide what will you do with the information/knowledge you're about to receive.

- Steve

Anonymous said...

The original context for the Lord Acton quote calls for holding authority figures accountable for the ethical / moral quality of their actions, regardless of their wealth, power, social status, or other accomplishments.

There seems to be a tendency for people in positions of authority to be insulated from the costs and consequences of their choices, they are no longer held accountable for their behavior. For a person who becomes accustomed to acting within that insulation, there may follow an erosion of character (in the sense of "character is what you are in the dark" - the choices a person makes when they believe no one else will witness their actions - also see the GIFT TV tropes entry).

Resisting this corrupting influence requires holding oneself accountable for the costs and consequences of one's actions.


The European Historical Combat Guild said...

and that one is held accountable for those actions by others, no?
The notion of "skin in the game" in all it's forms,
anyway this is moving in to another discussion, ;)

Unknown said...

Great words, Rory. The evil does everything in its power to dis-courage good people !

warm greetings !


Drew Rinella said...

In John Taylor Gatto's writings he describes compliance and submission being deliberately engineered into our Prussian model of public schooling, with the stated goal of creating a compliant workforce. He goes so far as to claim that future leaders are hand picked at a young age.

Tony said...

Along the line of "power corrupts" and "fighters are above money", how about "money is the root of all evil"? Parallel? Tangential?

I've concluded that self esteem is/could be a function of doing or producing something other people find useful. The easy way to know it is useful is they PAY you for it.

Drew Rinella said...

The more I think about your post, the angrier I get. Open Walton's Five & Dime corner store and you are a community hero. When that store becomes a multinational success story called, Walmart, your name might as well be Adolf Hitler.

Open a Roth IRA to secure your family's future, and you are part of the greedy, white, 1% who doesn't pay their fair share. Purchase shares of Altria and McDonalds to create a dividend flow to support yourself in retirement, thus making sure you don't become another wart on the ass of society complaining about how social security doesn't pay all your bills, and you are viewed as some sort of elitist fuck fooling the unwashed masses into getting lung cancer and diabetes for your own personal gain.

When you watch interviews of the jackasses responsible for the occupy wall street protests, it becomes very apparent that they are in fact communists using social pressure to usher in their totalitarian dystopias. Don't become successful and independent, go to work pushing a button in a factory for 40 years or else we will make you look like fucking satan. Fuck I'm pissed off.

Elenor said...

Verner Riecke wrote: "And, power does not corrupt, it's the other way around. The corrupt and bad and evil are more attracted to (or, more like love) power than good people, and thus tend to be better at playing the game for power."

There's a premise here I cannot go along with: that somehow power is evil or creates evil (or corruption) and "good people" should NOT want, get, or use power. I am both a good person AND madly attracted to power! "Power" is no more eeeeevil than a gun! It's a tool. The wielder of the tool makes the end result.

And while I'm at it; maybe a not-so-brief point about what I consider the fundamental unavoidable flaw in dualism, in trying to 'sort' good and evil. Old Chinese tale:
Farmer's stallion breaks out of his corral and runs off. The neighbors say: "oh, that's bad!" Farmer says: "eh, could be bad, could be good."
A week later, the stallion comes back bringing a herd of fine mares. The neighbors say: "oh, that's good!" Farmer says: "eh, could be bad, could be good."
A week later, the farmer's son sets about breaking the mares, and gets bucked off and breaks his leg. The neighbors say: "oh, that's bad!" Farmer says: "eh, could be bad, could be good."
A week later, the Army sweeps in and rounds up all the young men in the village and marches them off to war; all except the farmer's son, still laid up with a broken leg.

Point of view is always a consideration in deciding what's good and bad (or worse, good and evil!)

Tony wrote:
Along the line of "power corrupts" and "fighters are above money", how about "money is the root of all evil"? Parallel? Tangential?

Bit of a correction: the actual saying is; "the LOVE of money is the root of all evil." And, I'd point a gentle deprecatory finger: money is also a tool and so cannot be evil; and that statement has as ITS premise that money and wealth are somehow bad or evil or corrupting. (How 99% of you, or would it communist?)(Not of "you," Tony, but of those who would bring that saying out to smack people who don't accept that the lack of wealth is a status to be desired!)

Rory said...

Eleanor (assuming you are the Eleanor I think you are, it's been a long while...)
Agreed on points- about dualism, and the idea that a tool has a value other than in how it is used.
My question/comment/the-thing-that-is-actually-bugging-me; To what extent are these ideas, especially the artificial ethos around power (no leopard would ever give up its spots because camouflage is unfair, and no prey would deliberately slow down os stunt its senses to be more fair) deliberate ploys to keep people weak and easy to manage?